The 2-year-old gets my vote |

The 2-year-old gets my vote

The 2-year-old went thump, thump, bump as he hopped down the steps. Then, he’d run back up the short staircase and again he’d go bump, bump, thump in a pattern he’d obviously come to enjoy.

As I watched him bounce, I wanted to be a 2-year-old, blissfully unaware of the sometimes-boredom that exists in the grown-up world. Though I didn’t actually ask him, the child appeared to be an unwilling participate at one of Park County’s several “meet the candidate” gatherings.

I was, however, a willing member of the crowd of about 50 waiting to learn more about the movers and shakers looking to win my vote in November’s election.

Now, most people who know me know I don’t care much for politics, though I always vote. It’s just that most of the time, politics are dull. If you don’t believe me, try sitting through a school board or planning commission meeting. These meetings can last all night while our elected officials argue on the correct shade of yellow to paint a room at town hall or if they should use “a” or “the” in a sentence.

Still, I showed up for this meeting for two reasons: One, I really did want to hear what the candidates had to say, and two, one of the candidates is my mother.

Now, the fact my mother is a candidate for Park County clerk is definitely fodder for a future column, but this column is about the enigma that is the Democratic candidate for governor.

The first person to speak at the meeting turned out to be the daughter of Rollie Heath. Heath, the Democratic candidate for governor, has been all but absent from radio, television and print advertising – so much so, I’d started to wonder if Bill Owens was running unopposed. But here, for the first time, was someone who could confirm that there is a Democratic candidate.

The first thing that impressed me about Heath’s daughter was the way she dressed. She was wearing a simple pair of gray sweats and a Rollie Heath T-shirt. Since anyone wearing a suit or dress clothes in the mountains instantly is pegged as a flatlander, she fit in perfectly with the crowd she was addressing.

The second thing that impressed me about her was how much she said about her father in the allotted three minutes. She spoke of his commitment to our children’s education, his straightforward approach to affordable health care and his extensive background. But even more impressive than her speech was that someone from a political party/family would travel all the way to Fairplay – a place not known as a hotbed of political intrigue – just to give a three-minute speech.

The thing that impressed me most, however, was that the child bumping and thumping down the steps was her son. After everything Bill Owens has done to win my vote, all the huge purple billboards blocking mountain views, the endless radio, newspaper and television ads singing the praises of a balanced budget that’s $480 or 90 million dollars in the red, here instead was a family member who cared enough about her father to drag along a 2-year-old to a meeting that must have been as boring for a kid as going to church.

Here, I thought, was a person who knows the price of a gallon of milk and the stresses of working and raising a family in the current economic situation. And here was a family willing to get out and meet my family – and not just for a photo op.

I don’t really know if my vote will make a difference in this election, but I’ve jumped on Rollie Heath’s grassroots bandwagon. Since the democrats are spending all their money on the Allard-Strickland fight, I figured I’d attempt to give his campaign a small voice.

And just for your information, neither “Billboard” Bill Owens nor one of his representatives attended our little Park County party. I guess us folks in the High Country just aren’t that important. Either that, or he thinks we watch a lot of TV.

Andrew Gmerek is a weekly columnist for the Summit Daily News. He gets our vote.

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